The spirit of Sir Francis Dashwood, the notorious rake who founded the Hellfire Club in 1755, lives on at the end of this month with the spooky-sounding Soirée Subterranea. This one-off evening promises strange games and sinister rituals inspired by the dirty double lives of the 18th Century’s political elite, and is to be held in a secret underground chamber somewhere in zone 2 (details will be released on the day).
A team of performers and comedians will recreate the sacred order of the Monks of Bernaise and ordain visitors into the brotherhood upon arrival. It’s not clear what this means exactly, but it'll likely involve a swig or two of absinthe, or as they put it “receiving the sacraments of Hellfire Stew.”
And then in the dank bowels of the secret location, the ritual begins. How serious it all gets is questionable, as the night features Edwardian animal impersonations, medieval lute music and a cast of 12 monks, mostly stand-up stalwarts, led by the ‘Mad Abbot’, Phil Kay.
Expect wild-eyes, chanting, comedy and candle-lit atmospherics as you are led through “an evening of the sacred and profane”, all of which is mercifully followed by a knees up and bawdy singalong (with melodium accompaniment). Just as Dashwood would have wanted, no doubt.
The event is put on by the same team who recently had Stewart Lee performing in a cemetery in Tower Hamlets — a gig he apparently now describes as one his favourites. The soirée is the brainchild of Adamotions (who produce Dr Brown and the Big Red Bastard shows) along with veteran comic Martin Soan, who is art directing.
Soirée Subterranea takes place on 29 November from 6.30–11.00pm (with groups arriving in pre-specified time slots). The location remains shrouded in mystery until that morning. Tickets are £25 and include Hellfire stew and cocktail.